Productivity gurus love to write about how we shouldn’t overwork ourselves. They’ll say things like, “If you stay late, you’re just being inefficient.” Or “there’s more to life than work”. And up till recently, I agreed with them. I used to make fun of people who stayed in the office till 10pm and didn’t have a life.
Until I became one of them.
It all started when I moved to a new department and I had to generate a regular bi-weekly statistics report. Now, generating statistics isn’t the most sexy task in the world, so I decided to create a simple Excel template that would help me quickly manipulate the data I needed. I’d done templates like this before, so I figured that it should be pretty easy.
Except that it wasn’t easy, and I started getting annoyed at myself.
And so I began to obsess over this template. I started coming into the office early and leaving at 9pm. I skipped 3 exercise sessions. Many emails went unanswered. Last weekend, when I was supposed to be blogging, I went to the office so that I could work uninterrupted – on Saturday AND Sunday. I was a wreck.
And then late on Sunday, after working …read more